WNY vape shops get short term relief from new regulations


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB)–The shelves at Majestic Vapors were stocked with a wide variety of flavored vaping products that he would have been forced to remove due to tough new state health regulations, Friday, but that was all changed by a last minute stay in an Albany court room.

A state appeals court blocked the new regulations for two weeks, and while shop owner Brian Burke is relieved by the delay, Burke said none of his customers are happy.

“They feel their rights are violated, and they are. The majority of our customers are over 30 years old, and their big question is, why you are taking that from me?”

A nationwide outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries prompted state health officials to issue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, with the exception of menthol and tobacco—the first state to ban flavored vapes–which New York shop owners said would dramatically hurt business, and cost of hundreds of related jobs.

Burke cited reports that show most of the vaping injuries were related to the use of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Burke said he does not sell sell THC-laced e-cigarettes at his Niagara Falls store, and does not know any other shops that do.

“You look at the reports and you have it coming out saying, it is these THC cartridges they are finding on the street, and trying to lump it all in with what we are doing here and that is not what is going on.))

The New York State Health Department also cited an alarming number of teenagers using e-cigarettes for issuing the new regulations, and State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued a statement saying the state will prevail in court.

Burke says he and many of the other vape shop owners refuse to sell their products to minors, “We don’t want it in the hands of youth–the government doesn’t and neither do we. Find a sensible way to get there, work together and everybody can be happy.”

The temporary restraining order will be argued again when lawsuit, entitled Vapor Technology Association v. Cuomo returns to the State Supreme Court, Appellate Division in Albany, on October 18.

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